There is no shortage of resources for PA students. The challenge is finding affordable resources that cover all your needs.
While needs change depending on where you are in PA school, there are a few resources I highly recommend for everyone. Some of them are FREE, and the others are what I consider to be the best bang for your buck.
Having too many resources and study materials can actually be overwhelming. While I believe there are many great products out there, and encourage PA students to use a variety of resources, the products I’m recommending in this post are sufficient to cover all your PANCE preparation needs even if you have nothing else other than your school notes and materials.
These two outlines should guide your studying throughout PA school, primarily in the clinical year and beyond. I recommend printing a copy of the NCCPA Blueprint and keeping it readily available. I suggest printing each EOR Topic List before that rotation and reviewing it frequently. Bookmark these pages on your browser and pull them up while studying. These organizations tell you what they cover on their exams, so why not use it?
This 13-page document comes straight from the horse’s mouth. I would argue no resource gives more insight into the style and format of the PANCE than this document. Here NCCPA provides old test questions and critiques written by NCCPA test committee members. See why certain answers are correct and why others are incorrect. There are only a handful, but the point is well-made.
One of the reasons we developed the All Things PA-C Qbank was to fill a void. The goal was to provide a high-quality question bank at an affordable price point. Studies show practicing exam-style questions is one of the best study methods for passing board exams. Our questions are modeled using NCCPA’s style guide and closely resemble what you’ll see on the PANCE. Our Qbank allows you to practice questions developed using the NCCPA Blueprint, to filter by system or EOR subspecialty, and has the option to take quizzes or a full-length mock PANCE exam. Since launching in October 2022, at the time of this post users have answered over 118,000 questions and taken more than 2,500 tests and quizzes. One of the best features is, unlike other large question banks that are expensive AND require a yearly renewal, a subscription to the All Things PA-C Qbank comes with lifetime access.
I have been recommending Smarty PANCE for years. Like myself, the creator is a PA who set out to make a useful and affordable resource for PA students. Besides our own product, it is the number one resource I recommend for PA students. A couple of reasons I love it so much is it follows the NCCPA and PAEA blueprints and includes succinct topic-focused reading material as well as practice questions. The content is concise yet covers all the most pertinent information on each topic. You can use it for a quick review or more in-depth studying if desired. It is also one of the best bargains out there as far as what you get for what you pay. I have a blog post with a full-review of Smarty PANCE that includes a discount code at the end you can use for 10% off.
A Comprehensive Review for the Certification and Recertification Examination for Physician Assistants
This is the resource I personally used the most when studying for the PANCE, and continue to purchase the newest edition to keep on my shelf. I used it for both the PANCE and my first PANRE. It follows the NCCPA blueprint and each chapter focuses on a body system and outlines in a concise, easy-to-read format everything you need to know. Each section has a few PANCE-style practice questions to assess your knowledge. Like Smarty PANCE, it’s a great resource to cover general information on every topic.
One of the missions of All Things PA-C is to provide free and affordable resources to PA students. At no extra cost to you, some of the products featured here contain affiliate links. This means if you click the link and purchase the item, I may receive a small commission. This does not influence what I recommend as all opinions are my own.